At last, Canada repeals chief “online hate speech” law

by Walter Olson on June 30, 2013

Canada’s infamous speech-smothering Section 13’s dead. And good riddance too. Among targets of legal action under Section 13 over the years have been well-known conservative commentators Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant [National Post and more, Brian Lilley, Wikipedia, earlier]

{ 4 comments }

1 wfjag 06.30.13 at 10:09 am

OMG! First the Cannuks pay off their national debt and pass balanced budgets year after year. Now it is this. Next it will be the CBC broadcasting The O’Reilly Factor, and all the good hockey players will play for Canadian teams, so memories of a U.S. team winning the Stanley Cup will be only preserved in museums.

“A Thousand Years of Darkness;
Mass Hysteria;
Dogs and Cats Living Together !”

2 Hugo S. Cunningham 06.30.13 at 10:21 am

It is good to see Canada’s legislative branch step in to protect free speech when their supreme court so appallingly dropped the ball last February.

Given the worthlesssness of Canada’s current supreme court as a bulwark of liberties, free speech supporters in Canada’s parliament might consider setting up a separate tribunal with ultimate authority over free speech/press appeals, and an explicit mandate to protect same.

3 Tango One 06.30.13 at 2:26 pm

So, does that make Richard Warman redundant?

4 Bill Poser 06.30.13 at 2:36 pm

To be fair to the Supreme Court of Canada, the Constitution with which it has to work provides weaker support for freedom of speech than does the US Constitution. It contains a provision allowing legislatures to ignore basic rights in particular statutes if they are explicit about doing so (the infamous “notwithstanding clause, section 33 of the Charter of Rights), contains the vague provision that basic rights are “subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society”, and, of particular relevance in “hate speech” cases, provides in section 27 that: “This Charter shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the preservation and enhancement of the multicultural heritage of Canadians.” While I would prefer stronger protection for freedom of expression, it seems fair to lay much of the blame on the Charter of Rights and, more generally, on Canadian legal tradition.

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